Mayo narrowly hold off late Louth fightback to maintain winning run in All-Ireland series

mayo narrowly hold off late louth fightback to maintain winning run in all-ireland series

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea.

Louth 1-10

Colm Gannon reports from Hastings Insurance MacHale Park

BY THE SKIN of their teeth, Mayo picked up their second win of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship group series with a one point win over Louth in Castlebar.

With injury time almost up, Mayo pushed themselves five points clear when Fionn McDonagh fisted the ball over from close range. However, there was still time for late drama.

Conall McKeever was slipped in and hammered the ball past Colm Reape a minute later, cutting the gap to two points. In the next attack, Conor Grimes pointed, closing the gap to the bare minimum. Unfortunately for Louth, that was the last action of the day as referee Noel Mooney blew the final whistle after the resulting kick-out.

Mayo led by three points at halftime after a slow-burning first half. Louth retreated into their own half, clogging up the attacking avenues for Mayo which they struggled to break down.

It seemed like Mayo might cruise to victory early as they registered three points within the opening five minutes. Colm Reape nailed a free from 45m not long after the throw-in, and a minute later, Jack Carney cut inside to finish off a hand-passing move. Then, at the five-minute mark, Ryan O’Donoghue fisted the ball over to put his side three clear.

Sam Mulroy got the Louth scoreboard moving with a pointed free after eight minutes, giving them a footing in the game. David McBrien had a well-saved goal chance by James Califf at the quarter-hour mark, and shortly after, Aidan O’Shea scored a point from a free, putting Mayo three points ahead once more.

Mulroy drained a free from downtown to keep Mickey Harte’s men in touch, but that was quickly responded to by a point from Jordan Flynn, who collected the ball on the run at the second attempt.

Conor Grimes landed a long-range point, which was countered by a Ryan O’Donoghue free kick, keeping Mayo three points clear. Ciaran Downey slipped over a mark at the half-hour mark, keeping his side in touching distance of Mayo. Kevin McStay’s side went three points in front again shortly after when Stephen Coen raised a white flag from a mark.

Not long after the restart, Mayo went four points clear through Matthew Ruane. However, Louth kept in touch with Ciarán Downey scoring from long range, and Leonard Grey raising another white flag. Grey had a chance to score a goal after being played in behind the defense by McKeever, but his effort flew over the bar.


The heat sapped the energy in the legs off both sides, and they traded scores on two occasions keeping the gap at two points.

Points from Aidan O’Shea and Paddy Durcan pushed Mayo four points clear. Mulroy cut the gap back to three before another O’Shea free kick and McDonagh’s effort extended Mayo’s lead to five, seemingly securing victory. However, there was still time for some drama.

Scorers for Mayo: Aidan O’Shea (0-4, 4f), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-3, 2f), Colm Reape (0-1, 1f), Stephen Coen (0-1, 1m), Paddy Durcan (0-1), Matthew Ruane (0-1), Jack Carney (0-1), Jordan Flynn (0-1), Fionn McDonagh (0-1)

Scorers for Louth: Sam Mulroy (0-3, 3f), Conall McKeever (1-0), Ciaran Downey (0-2), Conor Grimes (0-2), Conor Early (0-1), Leonard Grey (0-1), Niall Sharkey (0-1)


1. Colm Reape (Knockmore)

2. Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis), 3. David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen), 4. Sam Callinan (Ballina Stephenites)

24. Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), 6. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), 7. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)

8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), 22. Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels)

18. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), 11. Jack Carney (Kilmeena), 12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

13. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), 14. James Carr (Ardagh), 15. Ryan O’Donoghue (Beal an Mhuirthead)


    5. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for Doherty

  • 17. Tommy Conroy (The Neale) for Carr 
  • 19. Enda Hession (Garrymore) for Callinan
  • 10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport) for Flynn
  • 26. Bob Tuohy (Castlebar Mitchels) for Coyne


1. James Califf (Dreadnots)

19. Bevan Duffy (St Fechins), 3. Peter Lynch (Roche Emmetts), 4. Donal McKenny (St Marys)

5. Leonard Grey (St Patricks), 6. Niall Sharkey (Glyde Rangers), 7. Anthony Williams (Dreadnots)

8. Tommy Durnin (Iniskeen Grattans), 9. Conor Early (Na Fianna)

10. Conall McKeever (Clan na Gael), 11. Ciaran Downey (Newtown Blues), 12. Conor Grimes (Glen Emmets)

22. Conalll McCaul (St Josephs), 14. Sam Mulroy (Naomh Martin), 26. Ciaran Murphy (St Patrick’s)


    15. Craig Lennon (St Machtas) for McCaul

  • 2. Dermot Campbell (Dreadnots) for Williams
  • 17. Ryan Burns (Hunterstown Rovers) for Lynch
  • 13. Paul Matthews (St Fechins) for Murphy

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)

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